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September 1, 2020: The First Day of September

You heard the rain falling on the roof this morning, rolled over and feigned sleep. Your partner, who saw no reason to sleep in, leapt out of bed, and thus began both your day. The first thought that occurred to you was that you would have to tend to livestock in the rain. Ugh. Your second thought was that the inclement weather was actually fortuitous – you had planned on going to the recycling center and sorting books. Had it been a sunny day, you would have stayed home and tended to the innumerable animals that now grace your property.

Your partner gave you a ride there in his new Subaru Crosstrek. You reveled in the fact that this nearly new vehicle has

Zane Grey Books

heated seats. The heat sure felt good on your back. Both of you agreed that this vehicle was more fun to drive than was the alternative, which is the 1998 Suzuki with 215,000 miles and a broken windshield.

If you had your druthers you would have gladly done a road trip, say, driven to Homer or to Fairbanks in this nearly new vehicle. This still exists as a possibility – the only thing that you need is a house sitter who has experience tending to gardens, solar systems, and animals.

You were the catalyst for the Bright Lights Book Project, and it’s still going strong. This is what you reminded Bill Schmidtkunz, who got to the recycling center 45 minutes earlier than you. He was assisting Carole, one of the staff workers, in moving shelving from the sorting area to the new bookstore. You held the door for the pair and smiled.

The bookstore, which was somewhat organized, was the upside. The distribution and sorting area, which was somewhat disorganized, was the downside. In your absence, a dozen boxes of books were again moved from where you left them last week, which was on a shelf directly outside the sorting area, to a table, directly inside the sorting area. And, of course, there were far more boxes of unsorted books on the floor than there were last week.

You didn’t say it, but you thought it – there is nothing like starting one’s day overwhelmed. An analogy then came to mind – it was like starting one’s day without coffee. “It is a good thing I don’t drink coffee,” you muttered. You then looked around, in order to see if anyone heard your remark. Nope, Bill was then sorting, and Carole had gone back upstairs.

You rooted through some of the new boxes, then came up with a plan, which was to consolidate the children’s books and put them on the bookshelf in the distribution area. As you told Bill, this way the staff can make calls and focus on children’s books. And those called can come and get them.

When done, you had the books in order. And Bill had filled four shopping carts with books to be shredded. It had rained until 3 p.m. or so, then the sun came out. Both you and Bill agreed then that it was quitting time. So home you went, with the thought in mind that it’s nearly been a year, and the Bright Lights Book Project is still ongoing.

Next: 242. September 2, 2020: A Conversation with Ryder

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